Hemel Hempstead MP will co-chair cross party Parliamentary Committee for UK’s first ‘999 Cenotaph’

The 999 Cenotaph will be a national symbol of gratitude, sacrifice and remembrance for NHS and 999 heroes – past and present

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 2:44 pm

The MP for Hemel Hempstead is the co-chair of a cross party Parliamentary Committee which will work to help make the 999 Cenotaph to honour the NHS and emergency services a reality.

The 999 Cenotaph charity is raising at least £3.2 million to build the UK’s first Emergency Services Cenotaph.

The Committee consists of Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning, Yvette Cooper MP, Allan Dorans MP, Munira Wilson MP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Lord Mark Lancaster, Lord Vernon Coaker and Baroness Cathy Bakewell.

Sir Mike Penning MP will co-chair the committee with Yvette Cooper MP
Sir Mike Penning MP will co-chair the committee with Yvette Cooper MP

Former firefighter, solider and Police Minister, Sir Mike Penning MP and the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee and former Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP will co-chair the committee.

The committee is tasked with trying to find a suitable location in Westminster to locate the UK’s first national monument to the NHS and emergency services, and to assist with securing major donations.

Almost two million people work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services today, including 250,000 first responders.

The monument is supported by His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, the Prime Minister, the First Ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the National Police and Fire Chiefs’ Councils, the Association of Ambulance CEOs and all Search and Rescue organisations.

This monument is being sculpted by Philip Jackson, whose previous work includes Bomber Command in Green Park, Gandhi in Parliament Square and The Queen in Windsor Great Park.

The 999 Cenotaph, which will be 21ft tall, includes six 8ft figures standing back-to-back wearing the uniform they would wear when responding to a 999 call.

The figures will stand on White Portland stone.

The figures are of a male police officer, firefighter, and maritime volunteer, and a female paramedic, nurse and search and rescue volunteer. A dog is also to be included, to represent service animals.

The first figure, that of an NHS nurse, was unveiled in May 2021.

If funding is secured soon, then the monument could be unveiled in December 2022, the year of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

Speaking of his appointment as co-chair of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, The Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP, said: “As a former firefighter and Police Minister I am honoured to have been appointed co-chair of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee.

"The 999 Cenotaph is a remarkable campaign for a single memorial in our capital city to honour all those who have lost their lives whilst serving their communities in the emergency services.

"I am committed to finding a suitable site in the centre of Westminster and, quite frankly, it is long overdue.”

Tom Scholes-Fogg, Founder and Chief Executive of the 999 Cenotaph, said: “I am delighted that this cross-party Parliamentary Committee has been established to help secure funding and find a suitable site for the UK’s first ‘999 Cenotaph’ – a lasting symbol of gratitude to the millions of people who have served in our NHS and emergency services.

"The 999 Cenotaph will be a monument to our heroes – a monument that the British people can look at and be proud of.

"We need to raise at least £3.2m to make this a reality. I urge the public to donate whatever they can.

"Our NHS and 999 services have been there for you, it is now time for you to be there for them.”

You can donate online, or text ‘Hero 5’, ‘Hero 10’ or ‘Hero 20’ to 70500 to donate £5, £10 or £20. Alternatively, you can send a cheque payable to ‘Emergency Services Cenotaph’ to 999 Cenotaph, Police Station, Oldham Road, Middleton, England, M24 1AY.